News Bulletins

NEWS BULLETINS

Update: 1/02/2009

If you want a DOL hearing, you must request it within 20 days of your arrest.  Washington State’s new DUI law, requiring Ignition Interlock Devices for those found to have been DUI, requires people to have high-risk insurance and an ignition interlock device installed in vehicles they drive.  To fight this consequence, call for a free consultation about your case, and don’t forget to turn in the hearing request (and fee) within 20 days of arrest for a DUI.

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Update: 12/30/08

Attorney Brian Sullivan discusses the new interlock device in the Seattle PI Newspaper.

(click above link for newspaper article)

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Update: 10/26/08

A DUI doesn’t have to keep you from driving.  Ignition Interlock Devices, buying time with a DOL hearing, and keeping you driving.

As the year nears close, DUI laws are changing.  With good advice from your DUI lawyer, you should no longer need to lose your license to drive.  The new Ignition Interlock Device (IID) law that came on the books January of 2008 will allow drivers to remain able to drive — albeit with a different type of license: the Ignition Interlock Device (IID) License.  This new type of license will allow certain people charged with DUI to continue driving, without a true loss of their driving privileges, even after getting charged with a high breath test (BAC) DUI.  To find out how your case may be affected, call (425) 322-1076 and ask Attorney Brian Sullivan for advice on your DUI case.

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Update: 8/1/08

Washington State is changing the DUI laws again.  The bill below was recently signed into law by the Governor; the partial veto only applies to deferred prosecutions.  The gist of the bill is that it creates a new type of drivers license — an “ignition interlock license” (IIL) — which will authorize a person to drive a noncommercial vehicle with an ignition interlock device while his or her regular driver’s license is suspended for DUI.

Call Attorney Brian Sullivan for questions about how this law may affect your case: (425) 322-1076.

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For the PDF of Washington State Bill 3054 – click here

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FINAL BILL REPORT
E2SHB 3254
PARTIAL VETO
C 282 L 08

Synopsis as Enacted

Brief Description:

Concerning accountability for persons driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs.

Background:

When a person is arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), the arresting officer must take certain steps, including marking the person’s driver’s license. The marked license becomes a temporary license valid for 60 days or until the suspension of the person’s license is sustained at a Department of Licensing (DOL) hearing, whichever occurs first.

License Suspension of Persons Arrested for DUI:

The arrested person’s license may be suspended as a result of an administrative action by the DOL and as a result of a criminal conviction for DUI. Within 30 days of arrest [now 20 days], the person may request a DOL hearing to contest the administrative license suspension. The hearing must be held within 60 days after arrest.

An administrative suspension is based on either refusing to take the breath or blood alcohol concentration test (BAC) when arrested or having a BAC of .08 or higher. Administrative suspension periods last from 90 days to two years, depending on whether the driver refused the BAC and whether there have been prior incidents.

A court-ordered suspension is based on a DUI conviction and, like the administrative suspension, the suspension periods vary depending on the offender’s BAC level and prior offenses. License suspensions for DUI convictions range from 90 days to four years.

Ignition Interlock Requirements for Person Convicted of DUI:

After the suspension period for a DUI conviction has expired, a person may drive only a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device. The device must be installed on any vehicle operated by the driver. However, an ignition interlock device is not required on vehicles owned by the driver’s employer. The time periods required for an ignition interlock device are one year, five years, and ten years for the first, second, and third times the person is required to have such a device installed. It is a misdemeanor crime for a person who is required to use an interlock to drive without one.

An interlock device is also required as a condition of receiving a temporary restricted license (TRL). A TRL allows a person to drive while his or her regular license is suspended, and is available to persons suspended for various reasons, not just for a DUI conviction or administrative suspension. A TRL may be issued under limited circumstances, such as when the person demonstrates that it is necessary for him or her to drive for work, school, treatment, or other reasons specified in statute.

Other Provisions:

Generally, a conviction for DUI is a gross misdemeanor. However, a conviction for DUI is a class C felony if the person has four or more prior DUI-related offenses or the person has a prior Washington conviction for a DUI-related vehicular homicide or DUI-related vehicular assault.

If a person has been arrested for a nonfelony DUI, he or she may petition the court for a deferred prosecution as long as he or she has not previously been granted a deferral. If the petition is granted, the person’s prosecution is deferred pending his or her successful completion of alcohol or drug treatment. In order to get a deferral, the petitioner must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the court that, among other things, his or her DUI was the result of alcoholism, drug addiction, or a mental problem for which the person is in need of treatment.

Summary:

An ignition interlock license (IIL) is created that authorizes a person to drive a noncommercial vehicle with an ignition interlock device while his or her regular driver’s license is suspended for DUI.

Ignition Interlock License:

Beginning January 1, 2009, any person who has had or will have his or her license suspended administratively may apply to the DOL for an IIL. The person can apply for an IIL at any time, including immediately after being arrested or after a hearing revoking his or her license. The DOL must require the person to maintain the device on all vehicles operated by the person for the remainder of the period of suspension.

A person receiving an IIL waives his or her right to a DOL hearing on the administrative suspension of the person’s regular license. The time period during which a person must request a hearing after being arrested for DUI is shortened from 30 days to 20 days.

Temporary restricted licenses will not be available to persons who are convicted of a DUI.

For those persons convicted of DUI based on alcohol use, the court must order that the offender apply for an IIL. The court may waive the requirement if the offender does not own a car, is not eligible to receive an IIL, or ignition interlocks are not available in the offender’s area. If waived, the court must order the offender to submit to alcohol monitoring. The period of time required for interlock use or alcohol monitoring for convicted persons is one year, five years, or ten years, depending on whether the person has previously been required to have an interlock device.

Costs:

The applicant must pay a $100 licensing fee for an ignition interlock license. The money is transmitted to the state treasurer in the same manner as other driver’s license fees. Unless costs are waived by the ignition interlock company or the person is indigent, the person must pay for installing, leasing, and removing the device plus an additional $20 per month.

Payments are made to the ignition interlock company, and the company must remit the additional $20 per month to the DOL to be deposited into the Ignition Interlock Device Revolving Account (Account). Expenditures from the Account may only be used to assist indigent persons with the costs of installing, removing, and leasing the device and applicable licensing. The DOL must administer the revolving Account program and adopt rules to provide monetary assistance based on the greatest need and available funds.

Requirements for Ignition Interlock Licenses:

A person is not eligible to get an IIL if the person has committed any vehicular homicide or vehicular assault within seven years prior to the current DUI.

An ignition interlock device is not required on cars owned by the person’s employer and driven as a requirement of employment during working hours. The person must provide the DOL with a declaration from the employer that the person is required to drive a vehicle owned by the employer.

The DOL must notify the person that the IIL will be canceled when the DOL receives evidence that a functioning device is no longer installed. The license will be canceled 15 days from the mailing of the notice, but if the person proves that a functioning device has been installed, the cancellation will be stayed. If the license is cancelled, the person may obtain a new IIL at no charge upon proving that a device has been installed. The DOL must cancel the IIL if the person has been convicted of operating a motor vehicle in violation of the IIL restrictions or if the driver is convicted of a separate offense that would warrant a suspension

of a regular license.

Pilot Program:

A pilot program to monitor compliance of persons required to use the devices and of interlock companies and vendors is created within the Account program. The DOL, Washington State Patrol (WSP), and Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) must establish the pilot program targeting at least one county in Eastern Washington and one county in Western Washington. In addition, the WTSC must track recidivism of persons required to have an ignition interlock license.

Other Provisions:

A conviction for violating a restriction of an IIL requires immediate revocation of the license and is punishable by a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $2,000 and/or imprisonment for not more than six months. In addition, it is the crime of Driving While License is Suspended (DWLS) if a person drives while his or her ignition interlock license is revoked.

The deferred prosecution statutes are amended to allow for a deferral for persons not needing treatment. A person charged with a nonfelony DUI and who has no prior DUI-related offenses may be eligible for deferred prosecution if the person has been found not to need treatment for alcoholism, drug addiction, or mental problems. The offender must be assessed by a certified chemical dependency counselor and a licensed mental health professional. As a condition of granting a deferred prosecution, the court must order that the person apply for an IIL and install an ignition interlock device in all vehicles operated by the person.

The felony DUI law is amended. It is a felony DUI if the offender has a prior out-of-state conviction that is comparable to a Washington conviction for DUI-related vehicular homicide or DUI-related vehicular assault.

Votes on Final Passage:

House 95 / 0
Senate 47 / 0 (Senate amended)
House 94 / 0 (House concurred)
Effective: June 12, 2008
January 1, 2009 (Sections 2, 4-8, and 11-14)

Partial Veto Summary:

The governor vetoed the provision authorizing deferred prosecution for certain DUI offenders who do not need treatment.

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